Barefoot Runners

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have you found barefoot walking a requirement for (better) barefoot running? (Read 1017 times)

    So I started down the barefoot path last summer. I had some success. I had some fun. I racked up some miles. Then winter came, and I put on some smartwool socks and invisibleshoe.com huraches. Whenever it was above 50 degrees, I'd try and log some barefoot miles, but most of my miles were in huraches.

     

    Now that Spring has returned, I'm finding that my feet seem more tender than when I started. I can do 3 miles barefoot without blisters. If I do much more, I get a blood blister under the ball of my right foot.

     

    I've also started walking barefoot, and after just a couple of outings, I'm noticing some curious things. When I run barefoot, my feet don't seem more callused, but less (the abrasion factor, presumably). But when I walk barefoot (~3 miles, varying degrees of rough concrete), my soles seem more callused. Also, I get fatigue in areas of my calves from the barefoot walking that I don't get from the barefoot running.Has anyone else noticed anything along these lines?

     

    I'm beginning to suspect that barefoot walking isn't a precursor to barefoot running, but a necessary complement. Any thoughts on this?

      Sorry - I probably can't answer your questions directly, but maybe my experiences will help.

       

      I started barefooting about 20 months ago a quarter mile at a time & now am now doing up to 20 mpw BF - generally every other day - a little over half my running mileage. The rest is in minimalist type shoes.  Also I will do a 10-13 mile run BF every week or two (granted, it's on really smooth new asphalt). 

       

      Walking BF has definitely helped me, BUT: (1) I usually only do it after a run for the 10-15 minutes I'm walking back to the house for my cool down.  (2)  If my soles are a little tired or sore - it's shoes only.  I usually walk BF a total of only 0-70 minutes a week.  (3)  I don't have any concrete around here, so it's varying degrees of asphalt.  (4) Here in Fla. the weather is OK for BF'ing year round - don't know how I'd handle it in cold weather...(5) I try to get some variety in my walking; ie, to or from one of my usual routes I can do 5 min. of slightly rougher asphalt, then take a short trail in the woods for 2-3 min., walk (balance) up & back on a log a few times, and then walk and/or "trot" 5 min. on rough grass that has grown over gravel.  (6) I track my time spent walking BF - I'm not sure why, other than doing so simply reminds me to do it...(7) I've never had fatigued calves from walking but I don't walk for 2-3 miles, either - do you walk in a hilly area? My walking is all in flat areas.  (8) Now I almost always just wear flip-flops to the start of my barefoot runs, leave 'em where I think they'll be safe, and then walk BF back home or put 'em back on if I want to afterward. Depends on how my feet feel.

       

      Probably one of the most important things I've come to realize about "staying in barefoot shape" is this:  a few months ago I didn't run or walk BF for a week or so, and returning to my normal BF self took a little extra time (maybe some BF walking would've helped).  So - now I won't go more than 2-3 days without a good BF run.  Also, I  have to pay even more attention "to what my body is telling me" with BF running than shod, because if I push it too much on a shorter run, I won't be able to do that longer run in two or three days that I've been looking forward to all week.

       

      So,  I'd agree that barefoot walking definitely enhances BF running, but that it shouldn't take a whole lot to make a noticeable difference.  In my case, it seems like variety in BF walking is more important than distance or time...   

      "I can do 440 in 220"    Half Fanatic #846    "90% of running is half mental"    If I collapse, please pause my Garmin

       

        I haven't done any BF running or walking all winter (been using VFFs), so I'm wondering how my feet are going to react when I start again.  It's probably important to do some BF running, but my marathon training is going so well in the Vibrams, I don't want to upset the applecart until after the race.

        Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

          I haven't done any BF running or walking all winter (been using VFFs), so I'm wondering how my feet are going to react when I start again.  It's probably important to do some BF running, but my marathon training is going so well in the Vibrams, I don't want to upset the applecart until after the race.

           

           

          Sounds like a smart approach - good luck on the Marathon!

          "I can do 440 in 220"    Half Fanatic #846    "90% of running is half mental"    If I collapse, please pause my Garmin

           

          Angelina922


            In high school I did ballet 4 times a week (ballet slippers are practically barefoot and you also do some barefoot work in the class and strengthen a lot of similar muscles as when barefoot barefoot), and did some barefoot running, always ran in minimalist products, and never really had any injuries during xc and track minus 1 ankle break (soccer injury). 

             

            In collegiate running NCAA D1 xc n track, I did no ballet, probably walked around barefoot less than in high school, and still did barefoot strides and did workouts in minimalist products (light weight racers) and raced in track or xc spikes (light weight/minimalist). I got injured a few times, but also probably did a greater percentage of my total mileage in high school minimalist (20/20 miles a week) while in college I probably did about 20/45-55 miles a week in minimalist products....

             

            Post-collegiately, I run anywhere from 30-60 miles a week depending on what I'm training for (xc/road/track), and I haven't had many injuries since since I've gotten better at listening to my body, strengthened my hip flexors, increased my amount of walking and running barefoot-plus/minimalist etc... I've also returned to doing about 80% of my running mileage in minimalist products, 15% in a barefoot plus product (Invisible Shoes from www.InvisibleShoe.com) and 5% in a traditional cushioned product.  

             

            so .... not sure if there's a direct correlation between barefoot running/barefoot walking... but take that for what it's worth...